Thoughts on the new Firefox3 min read

I have been using Firefox more recently for personal browsing. As you can imagine, I was incredibly excited when I heard about this completely new version. It was supposed to be significantly faster and use less system resources. As a result, I installed a beta version of Firefox Quantum to try out.

First Thoughts

After trying the new version for a couple of hours, I have some first thoughts.

It Feels Faster

Firefox Quantum feels significantly faster than older Firefox versions, Chrome 62, or MS Edge. Pages load incredibly quickly and these speeds makes the entire experience feel better. These new speeds also make Quantum seem like a viable browser, even for people who already use Chrome.

Uses Fewer System Resources

Quantum runs tasks with fewer resources than Microsoft Edge.. I ran Futuremark’s Peace Keeper on Microsoft Edge and Firefox Quantum at the same time, and the results were very positive.

Quantum also had a couple of other tabs open, which is why there are multiple tasks for it.

Firefox/Edge Task Manager

Firefox was running at 15.5% of CPU and 255.5 MB of Ram, while Edge used 24.6% of CPU and 126.7 MB of Ram.

While the ram is slightly higher for Firefox, my system has the CPU as the bottleneck, making Firefox a better option for me.

Firefox is More Than Just the ‘Open Source Browser’

I used to see Firefox as the browser that people use purely because it is open source. I started using Firefox more due to the ‘Containers’ feature, allowing me to have school and personal stuff side by side. However, Quantum is competitive with other browsers, such as Chrome and Edge. The user interface looks great on Windows 10 and seems very fresh.

Firefox Quantum (Win 10) UI

It Feels Like It Was Designed for Windows

As seen in the screenshot above, Mozilla’s new browser blends in perfectly with UWP. Older versions felt very clunky and not designed for Windows. Quantum feels like it was designed for Windows 10, making it an even better experience.

HiDPI is Amazing

I use a 3840×2160 (UHD) monitor at 1 to 1 scaling and a smaller task bar. I want as much screen real estate as possible. However, due to Windows HiDPI scaling, fonts tend to look messed up.

Text on my home page on Quantum (Google Web Fonts)
Text on my home page on Chrome (Google Web Fonts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, Quantum has sharper anti-aliasing than Chrome, making it easier to read on HiDPI screens. Both images have been enlarged to the same amount.

What I Would Change or Add

There are a couple of things that I would change to make Firefox even better.

Integrated VPN

For those of you who don’t know, Opera now has a VPN built into the browser. This makes it incredibly easy to route your connections through a VPN, and it is faster than Tiger VPN, the VPN app that I have for Mac. It would be very nice if there was a free VPN for Firefox, especially given the emphasis on privacy.

Conclusion

Firefox Quantum makes browsing the web feel faster and better. It also makes it be competitive with other browsers, namely Chrome and MS Edge. This completely new version of Mozilla’s browser is a good choice for anyone who wants a fast and responsive browser.

I will be using Quantum as my daily browser for both personal and school purposes (thanks to containers). I still will keep Chrome installed, as some tasks (especially for school) use proprietary Google APIs that are exclusively available on Chrome. If you need a good and responsive browser, I would strongly recommend the new Firefox, as it is fast, modern, and a pleasure to use.

What are your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear what you have to say.

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